What happens when organizations go for a new LMS setup? They adopt standard procedures to meet their training prerequisites which include configuring and customizing the LMS, transferring learning data and integrating LMS to other applications. Does the LMS set up process end with installation? Not really.
Let me explain by drawing a parallel between the LMS with a piece of machinery in a manufacturing unit. Does the set up process of an expensive piece of machinery in a manufacturing unit end with installation? You need to train people to use it, you need people to maintain it and take care of its upkeep. You need to have people service it from time to time, to ensure that all parts are functioning well. You may also want to replace old or worn out parts with new and better ones according to your changing needs and as and when they are available in the market. The same is valid even in the case of a Learning Management System. Let’s see why?
- 1. LMS is a technology platform and we know that technology is ever changing. It comes with a set of tools and features which need to be periodically updated with later versions so that you are up to date with the latest technology. Similarly, you might have to update the plugins installed from time to time.
- 2. There may be new functionalities with new technological innovations, that must be integrated within your current LMS and this naturally needs updating. For example, making your LMS compatible for m-learning, collaborative features such as chats, discussion forums etc. You need people to work on these requirements whenever the need arises.
- 3. Training requirement in an organization is not static but is very dynamic. The training needs of today may not be relevant later. So, courses that have been uploaded today may not have relevance to the employees after some time. These courses will have to be archived and replaced with new ones.
- 4. Some modules in courses may have to be replaced as done in product training courses. With the launch of a new version of a product, you may want to include a new reference module suited to the new version. Replacing of modules is something like replacing defunct parts of a machine. You can’t ignore it or postpone it if you want to run your machinery effectively.
- 5. When an LMS is introduced for the first time in an organization, employees might need a bit of hand holding in terms of navigation on the LMS. Therefore a standard LMS might come with a certain number of steps to access courses. However, once employees are adept in using the LMS and know exactly how to go about getting what they want, they will not need to go through so many intermittent steps to get to their courses. In such cases, an LMS needs to be customized by changing the interface and layout in line with the new needs of the organization/learners.
So, LMS installation can never be a one-time process. It is an ongoing process that evolves along with the changing training needs of the organization. Do you agree? Do share your thoughts.